Cranach - Judith with the head of Holofernes
Judith with the head of Holofernes
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Grunewald hunting lodge
23.05.2019 - 03:49
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SPSG_GKI1182
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR234
Judith with the head of Holofernes[CDA 2012]
Judith[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 234]
Jael kills Sissera[Schuchardt 1851 C, 24]
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Lucas Cranach the Elder [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
RepositoryGrunewald hunting lodge
Dimensions of support: 74.9 x 56 cm [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Painting on beech wood (Fagus sp.) [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia below the window: winged serpent (with elevated wings) and date '1530'
The painting depicts the old testament heroin Judith as a half-length figure in contemporary dress. She is inclined slightly to the left and holds a sword in her right hand. In her left hand she holds the decapitated head of Holoferenes, which lies on a sort of balustrade in front of her. The background is dark, but the window on the right indicates that she is standing in a room. The window opens out onto a mountainous landscape with a castle.
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Prague 2016145
Exhib. Cat. Munich 201125-26Fig. 6
Schade, Schuttwolf 199452
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979117No. 234Fig. 234
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974413-420No. 286Figs. 229, 230
Schade 1974Fig. 157
Börsch-Supan 1974
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932193
Schuchardt 1851 C2434
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
This painting was erroneously entitled ‚Jael‘ by Friedländer and Rosenberg in their monograph from 1932, because the overpaint covered the figure’s attribute of the sword and showed her holding a hammer and nail instead.
In the revised edition from 1979 the painting was already correctly listed as ‘Judith’. An x-radiograph had revealed the extent of the overpaint. However the illustration of the painting shows its condition before restoration.

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 66, No. 193]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 117, No. 234]
History of Restoration:
  • Date: 1979
  • Remove of overpaintings [Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 25-26]